Back to the grind…

School has just reopened last Thursday, the 2nd day of 2014, and I’ve driven to Selangau and beyond to Melissa’s school three times, one and a half hours each way! Yes, we’ve been busy tying up loose ends to get back into the same ol’ routine now that the holidays are over…so I have not been around much to try out new food at new places in town.

Like what she used to do before, my missus would cook some stuff for Melissa to just heat up and eat in the course of the week but my instincts tell me that most of the time, she’ll be too busy with her work and everything to even cook rice so she would skip her meals. That is why I would think it is better to cook her something that she can just heat up and eat without having to go through the chore of cooking rice and heating up the dishes to go with it.

With that in mind, I made sure there was a little bit extra of the fried mee kua (dried egg noodles) with sambal hay bee/udang kering (dried prawns)…


…that I prepared for breakfast over the weekend and the next morning, I cooked some more dabai fried rice


– skin removed so it would not have the siap-siap taste. I wonder how they say that in English. It’s not exactly bitter – let’s just say that it’s not particularly all that pleasant. Period.

Other than these two options for my girl to take back to her school, the mum cooked her some stuff as well…and hopefully, she will take some time off her work to eat and will not come back home looking like a refugee from Somalia or Ethiopia. That daughter of mine is always too serious in what she does and would go out of her way to make sure everything’s to her satisfaction, neglecting most of everything else. Sigh!!!!

Besides not going out to eat lately, we have not been cooking anything special at home either – just the usual stuff but we did get one HUGE buah sukun (breadfruit) from my brother-in-law from Bintulu. I mentioned in a recent post that he drove back to Sibu and gave us some giant freshwater prawns and we all went out for dinner together. He also gave us one of the fruits from the tree in his own house compound and it was sooooo big, as big as a giant buah nangka (jackfruit) and among the things that my missus cooked with it was this very delightful local dessert, the bubur cacar


…comprising the buah sukun and sweet potatoes plus sago pearls in thickly-rich pandan-flavoured and gula melaka (palm sugar)-sweetened santan (coconut milk). Oooooo…that was so nice and the three of us finished the whole big pot of it in no time at all.

So how has your new year been?

Everybody’s grumbling at the rising prices all around, it seems. I was at a shop buying things for my girl to take to her rural school and I saw some bottles of Bovril…and I had not had Bovril noodles for quite a while now – not since the last bottle ran out and I had been using the Bonox and Vegemite that I got from people overseas but not to look at a gift horse in its mouth, I frankly feel that they’re not as nice – definitely not with noodles. I used to buy the big bottle, over RM20, almost 30, but I guess at times like these, it would be best not to indulge too much and try to do without some things that are quite dispensable…so I got the medium one instead, over RM14.00 a bottle. I think at this point in time, I can still afford that but I guess rising prices or not, it is always wise to keep an eye on our finances and expenses. As they say, a fool and his money are soon parted…and look after your pennies, your pounds will look after themselves. At times, it’s all those little little bits of spending that we do not pay much attention to that will burn a hole in our pockets.

The next morning, I cooked some Bovril mee sua for breakfast…


…tossed with pounded garlic chili and garnished with fried shallots and chopped spring onions, with fish cake slices, cherry tomatoes and egg by the side – no msg and no extra salt added and it was so so so good! Boy, did I miss that?

Well, I’m back in my usual empty nest syndrome now and let’s hope that things will start happening soon so I will have something to blog about, otherwise I may be forced to go on an extended hiatus until further notice. Hang around! You’ll find out soon enough.